I just found this site and am finding it really useful. I was recently considering a career change into medicine and was hoping I could tell you all a little about me and see what you think. So here goes. . .
I am 27 year old guy who graduated from an ivy league undergraduate institution with a degree in Business. My GPA was pretty avarge, a 3.1, and I took a Biology course for non-majors and got a B- in it. That was the extent of my science background. For the past 4 years I have been working in the IT industry. By most people's standards, I guess you could say I am doing pretty good. I have advanced myself over the past 4 years through industry certifications. Unfortunately the farther I have gone into IT the industry, the less happy I have become. I am basically at a career transition and so I started doing some soul searching. So here is me in a nutshell.
*I am a workaholic. I am the kind of person who if you put a task in front of them, will go 16 hours straight until he finishes that task.
*I need to be doing something in life that is greater than myself. I need to know that I am making a difference. I don't want to be just a wheel in a machine.
*I have always been a great people person when it comes to one-on-one conversation. People always seem to be approaching me for advice. I truly do love helping people. It can make my day.
Prestige and financial stability are important to me.
I enjoy science and research.
Based on the soul searching I have done, I have strongly been considering a transition into the field of medicine. Two years ago I was diagnosed with a 'learn to live with it' stomach disorder. This has also made the medical field quite compelling for me. As well, I have been working for the past 3 years in IT at a medical school.
So my current situation basically is I am an IT professional with a nonscience background. The steps I was considering taking towards admittance to med school were as follows:
1- Talk to the medical school admissions rep at my place of employment to discuss feasibility and recommendations.
2-Begin taking a General Chemistry course in the evenings at a local college while continuing to work full time. If all goes well, continue taking courses in Organic Chemistry, General Physics, and General Biology. I expect it will take me 2-3 years to get 8 hours of general chemistry, 8 hours of organic chemistry, 8 hours of physics and 8 hours of biology while continuing to work at the medical school I am employed at. On the bright side, my place of employment has rules that indicate if you attempt to further your education, they will pay for it and even give you time off of work (up to 3 hours per week).
3-Spend my Saturday's volunteering at a medical facility or some other community outreach program.
4-Try to volunteer for medical research with a doctor or professor at the place I work. If successful, attempt to publish research in a medical or trade magazine.
5-Make contacts where I work to throw my name towards admissions when it comes time to apply.
6-Begin studying for the MCAT in 1.5 years if grades are on track and all else is in place.
The hope is that in 2-3 years I will have completed the premed reqs with mostly As, I will have continued to work full time, I will have volunteer experience, and medical research experience. As well, I will have the benefit of having served the school to which I am applying (albeit in a different field).
I apologize for the lengthy message, but greatly appreciate your input. Does this sound like a good game plan to you? Is there anything I am missing or suggestions you might make? Again I appreciate the help.
It looks like a good plan to me! The only thing I might add is shadowing a few doctors along the way. Try spending a few hours a day with different doctors in different fields and see some of what being a doctor really means. If you find yourself comfortable, and still like the idea of becoming a physician, then go for it!
If you have some time free the end of this month, come to the conference in DC. Our opening speaker was a nontraditional student himself, and he has a presentation that will be invaluable to those considering med school.
Anyway, as you move forward, be sure to stay focused on the things that are important to you. If you find that medicine is where you should be, then go for it!!
I agree. I think you are right on track as far as the application process.
I too would recommend more volunteering and job shadowing. Among my friends in medicine, I have noticed wide variety in career satisfaction and I think that the most satisfied among them are absolutely 100% driven to help others or absolutely fanatic about the science of medicine - - or both. I have seen other people who were not so happy - - they had basically done an equation in their head of “like helping people” + “like science” + “like well-respected profession” = go to medical school. While there is nothing wrong with the equation, they hadn’t tested it against the reality. Does their version of helping people include doing some pretty lowly and sometimes disgusting stuff? Do they like science in the research or clinical sense? Also, some have been disappointed that they are often disrespected by patients (esp. with private patients) and that the financial stability part can take about many, many years (in your case, I would strongly rec. saving for med school so you don’t have to deal with living a more crimped lifestyle than you otherwise would in your forties to repay them).
All of this said, I think that you sound very committed and this could be a wonderful option for you. My advice, like the poster above, is to frontload job shadowing (and job shadow in a wide variety of fields) and hospital volunteer experience.